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International Conference - COP

1.Introduction and COP

May 1992, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was approved at the UN Headquarters in New York. The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 1992 and all participating countries signed the convention, which entered into force on 21 Mar 1994. The ultimate objective of the Convention is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations "at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic (human induced) interference with the climate system…Such a level should be achieved within a time-frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened, and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner."The history of COP is provided in the table below. 

     The most important divides of the COP in the past were the “Kyoto Protocol” passed in 1997 that made the reduction of greenhouse gases a legal bond for all developed countries; the Bali Roadmap in 2007 and Bali action Plan; the Copenhagen Accord approved in COP Copenhagen in 2009; the Cancun Agreement proposed in 2010; the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (DPEA) proposed in 2011; and the Doha Climate Gateway in 2012. 

Table 1 COP History

Year

City

Conference name

1995

Berlin, Germany

COP1

1996

Geneva, Switzerland

COP2

1997

Kyoto, Japan

COP3

1998

Buenos Aires, Argentina

COP4

1999

Bohn, Germany

COP5

2000

The Hague, Holland

COP6

2001

Marrakesh, Morocco

COP7

2002

New Delhi, India

COP8

2003

Milan, Italy

COP9

2004

Buenos Aires, Argentina

COP10

2005

Montreal, Canada

COP11

2006

Nairobi, Kenya

COP12

2007

Bali, Indonesia

COP13

2008

Poznan, Poland

COP14

2009

Copenhagen, Denmark

COP15

2010

Cancun, Mexico

COP16

2011

Durban, South Africa

COP17

2012

Doha, Qatar

COP18

2013

Warsaw, Poland

COP19

 

Source: UNFCCC

2.COP18

Combined with the Kyoto Protocol of COP8, the COP18 completed and approved the final Doha Climate Gateway on 8 Dec 2012. Compared to the functions of the Durban platform, the completion of Kyoto Protocol Amendment takes the legal commitment of global mitigation of greenhouse gas emission into the second phase of commitment. It is a substantial answer to the 6 key issues in the Bali Action Plan in addition to the resolutions made for long-term cooperation agreements. This is a herald to the world the idea of continuation of Rio Declaration and the determination to fight constantly against global warming at every level of operations of international organizations. For the subsequent operations of Durban platform and the resolutions for its contents, it is tell us that the activation of the platform in 2013 signifies the commitment of human being is officially stepping into the post-Kyoto era. The 6 key issues are: 

(1).Kyoto Protocol Amendment that represents the existence of the Convention

(2).End of the Bali Action Plan

(3).End of disputes over one-track and two-track approaches

(4).Doha Climate Gateway with finance and MRV as the cores

(5).Long-term cooperation framework focusing on both socioeconomic issues and adaptation

(6).Active actions to encourage the participation of private sector and NGOs through new market systems

3.COP19

As the Kyoto Protocol comes to an end in 2020, the member parties will negotiate a new international convention as a global strategy against climate changes and regulate more than 190 countries with different backgrounds in geography, economy, society and culture. The member parties are planning to approve and sign the new convention in 2015, and that makes the COPs in the next two years extremely important to reach a mutual agreement. COP19 is scheduled to take place in Warsaw, Poland from 11 to 22 Nov this year. The key discussions of COP19 will focus on corporate participation in strategies against global climate change, climate finance, new mitigation agreement of 2015 and risk management mechanism for loss and damage, which are summarized below: 

(1).Corporate participation: ministers and convention work groups mentioned in the preparatory meetings that the focus has to be placed on corporate participation and climate finance in order to achieve the negotiation goals in the conference, and the corporate sectors urged the member parties to produce a compact and stable climate change specification framework to lower investment risks and provide a clear long-term planning point of view for investment activities. 

(2).Climate finance: the discussion on climate finance will focus on the Green Climate Fund with a budget of $100 billion per year. The keys here include investment of capitals, methods of operation, and the ways to incorporate private sector investments and corporate participation. 

(3).New 2015 mitigation agreement: another important goal of COP19 is the “specificity” of the 2015 new agreement, including the writing of strategy clauses and nature of negotiation, establishment of responsibilities different among countries and guarantee of the universal participation of countries, and legal bonds. 

(4).Risk management mechanism: urge all countries to realize the importance of disaster risk management to climate change strategies and actions for loss and damage.